Sunday, January 31, 2010

On Iranian financing of Hamas, Reuters, AP disagree. Who's right?

In one of a continuing series of stories on the killing of Hamas' weapons smuggling operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Amy Teibel of AP writes:
Iran has acknowledged bankrolling Hamas but has never admitted to arming the militant group, which wrested control of Gaza from the rival Fatah faction in June 2007. Israel is convinced Tehran has become a main pipeline for arms to Gaza ever since the Hamas takeover.  [italics, ours]
In a story on the same topic, Reuters correspondents Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams write: 
Israel says its arch-foe Iran bankrolls attempts to ship weapons to Gaza by sea or land routes leading to the Egyptian Sinai. Iran says its support for Hamas is diplomatic only.  [italics, ours]
So, which media titan is correct?  Hamas has repeatedly admitted that it is supported with money and arms from Iran -- but has Iran acknowledged its funding for Hamas?  Yes:
"We still look forward to get support [from Iran] to break the political and economic sanctions," Khaled Meshaal said on Tuesday during a visit to Iran. Meshaal, who arrived in Iran early on Tuesday, told a press conference with Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister, that Iran had been giving financial and political support to the Palestinians since Hamas took office in March last year. Mottaki told reporters that Iran would continue to provide money to Hamas, but he did not give any figures. Iran is known to have given $120 million to Hamas since it took office following its victory in the Palestinian legislative elections.  [italics, ours]
Advantage, AP.

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